Friday Morning: Damned Long Week Done

If another artist of note has died, don’t tell me. After losing David Bowie and now Alan Rickman this week, I can’t deal. We should have had another 20 years with these guys. I can think of some people I’d trade to have them back, can’t you?

JetBlue had a boo-boo: temporary data center service outage for airline
At least, that’s what was reported — JetBlue’s data center provided through Verizon went down yesterday for a couple of hours. I’m having a really tough time believing there wasn’t adequate fail-over. Hope the FAA is all over this. JetBlue’s customers must have been very angry, frustrated, and worried.

Microsoft ended support for Windows 8 on Tuesday
Yikes! Somehow in all the discussion about Microsoft ending support for all of its Internet Explorer versions except for the most current edition, I missed the end of support for the original Windows 8 as of this week’s Patch Tuesday.

If you updated your system to Windows 8.1, it’s all good. That version is still supported.

App uses wearables to identify love interest based on heartbeat
I am shaking my head as I type this. There’s no hope for humans when we turn over one of the most fundamental human processes over to machines. Is this really even human? Slap on your FitBit, check out your one curated candidate, check your heart rate. If it’s elevated, you reach out to see if they are interested.

Absolutely pathetic. Riddled with flaws. What if a user consumed too much caffeine, or had a stressful day at work, resulting in a tetchy heartbeat? What about all the other non-visual clues we use to identify candidates worth approaching? Ugh. This brave new world sucks.

Make mine with Svedka. Skip the olives, don’t bother with the vermouth. Skål!

Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, geek since birth. Opinions informed by mixed-race, multi-ethnic, cis-female condition, further shaped by kind friends of all persuasions. Sci-tech frenemy, wannabe artist, decent cook, determined author, successful troublemaker. Mother of invention and two excessively smart-assed young adult kids. Attended School of Hard Knocks; Rather Unfortunate Smallish Private Business School in Midwest; Affordable Mid-State Community College w/evening classes. Self-employed at Tiny Consulting Business; previously at Large-ish Chemical Company with HQ in Midwest in multiple marginalizing corporate drone roles, and at Rather Big IT Service Provider as a project manager, preceded by a motley assortment of gigs before the gig economy was a thing. Blogging experience includes a personal blog at the original blogs.salon.com, managing editor for a state-based news site, and a stint at Firedoglake before landing here at emptywheel as technology’s less-virginal-but-still-accursed Cassandra.
30 replies
  1. Bay State Librul says:

    Just checked my fitbit heart beat, it was 62.

    Agree that it will vary

    The only benefit to me is that I have a pretty good average over time. If it jumps crazily for
    a few days, over the normal number, I would check it out.

    When I finished this reply it was 59.

    • Rayne says:

      Bay State Librul — so basically you’re telling me this post isn’t very, um, stimulating? You sure know the way to a girl’s heart rate. LOL

        • Bay State Librul says:

          You got me!
          —-
          I’m real nervous about the Patsies, yet Vegas has us winning +5.
          —-
          At 4:30PM, I’ll take my meds (Heineken) to lower the stress, and pray to the gods.

  2. bloopie2 says:

    “We should have had another 20 years with these guys.” Problem is that “we” DID have a lot of years with these guys, and as they both died in their late 60s, some of “we” aren’t that far behind. And heart rates? I’m reaching the point where I’m just glad that I have one.

  3. bloopie2 says:

    “Hope the FAA is all over this. JetBlue’s customers must have been very angry, frustrated, and worried.” You know, I’m not sure I hope that. Do we need government regulators jumping up and down every time the power goes out in some facility of an airline, or whenever some airline customers get angry (i.e., every three seconds)? Should the FAA have the job of ensuring that airline reservation systems always work? How about making sure their food service is always Grade A? To me, those are not “critical infrastructure”. Comms and plane safety, yes, but not reservations. And remember, power has been going out, and computer systems doing down, for a long time before hackers came around.

    • lefty665 says:

      Oops, dunno how I clicked post. Where’s the edit function when you need it?
      Version Mainstream Extended
      XP 4/14/09 4/8/14
      Vista 4/10/12 4/10/17
      7 1/13/15 1/14/20
      8 1/9/18 1/10/23
      10 10/13/20 10/14/25
      .
      Everything since XP is supported, even Vista, for bug fixes, security patches, etc through the life of most of the hardware out there. 7 and 8 will last longer than at least another couple of generations of computers, and some of us (sigh).

  4. Rayne says:

    bloopie2 (9:46) — No, we didn’t have them long enough when we still have to deal with jackasses who suck parasitically at our souls, like Cheney (who is 74 years old now).

    bloopie2 (9:51) — How separate do you think JetBlue’s reservations system is from its communications if Verizon is the vendor? FAA should still investigate.

    lefty665 (10:06) — Thanks. Microsoft Windows users really need to read both that ZDNet article, and Win licensing agreements and announcements, as well as security patch info. As ZDNet’s Ed Bott reported, “The upgrade from Windows 8 to 8.1 is unlike any other Windows upgrade.” I trust Bott, had followed his work on Windows for what seems like forever now.

    • bloopie2 says:

      “How separate do you think JetBlue’s reservations system is from its communications if Verizon is the vendor?” Apologies, I should have been more precise. By “comms” I meant communications with aircraft, airport services, etc. — those things needed to keep planes taking off, flying, and landing safely. Whether I can call in and get a ticket today versus tomorrow is not in that category, I submit. In addition, I assume FAA is overstretched already in meeting its remit; or let’s contact FAA and see if they have people sitting around with nothing more important to do. Either that or add a $10 “FAA fee” to each ticket and earmark it thus. Accordingly, I respectfully dissent.

      • Rayne says:

        bloopie2 — Didn’t answer my question. If Verizon is supplying data center services on reservations + flight status to JetBlue, are they also supplying communications services? Do we really want to wait for a catastrophic failure to determine what firewalled the comms from reservations? Do we really know based on what was reported so far, with any degree of confidence, that the communications were NOT impacted by this outage? I stick with my position: I still hope FAA looks in on this. If Verizon was supplying both data center AND comms, AND the system was breached, it’d be nice to know what caused this outage AND how it did not spread.

        EDIT: Keep in mind the public still doesn’t have a solid bead on what caused last year’s two outages/groundings for United in July, American Airlines in September, or JetStar in Australia in December 2014. The public only receives generic IT problems as an explanation. Nor do we have answers about the loss radar service at all of NZ’s airports last March 17th. We’re just supposed to shut up and assume safe and secure airlines without any accountability across these Five Eyes countries. At least, Poland’s airlines were willing to entertain the idea that hacking may have caused an outage last June.

  5. lefty665 says:

    I agree, I trust Bott too. ZDnet is usually on the money. They’re one of very few pubs I let send me email.
    .
    8.1 was different. Microsoft grudgingly and passive aggressively restored a semblance of the desktop paradigm and UI they had spent the last several decades teaching users how to use. They also let desktop users load it by default. By grudging and passive aggressive I mean restoring the start menu (more or less) but changing it from a left click to a right click. That’s just nasty. There’s hope for them now that Ballmer’s gone, but the Win10 free upgrade has a lot of ugly little surprises.

  6. lefty665 says:

    Rayne, Thanks for a weeks worth of interesting morning posts. Hope it’s been worthwhile as far as you’re concerned. I’m a fan. Please keep it up.

    • bmaz says:

      Orion, you know that that many links in a comment automatically goes to moderation, right? We know you, and it will usually get freed up when one of us sees it, but serial links automatically, by our filters, put a comment there until we can look at it. Just FYI.

      • orionATL says:

        thank you, bmaz, for the courtesy. i did know that. i learned it last week at the feet of professor white.

        knowing that as i did, i wasn’t disturbed it showed up in moderation. i just wanted to get this off my chest.

    • orionATL says:

      darn. i just remembered i neglected to include my favorite taunt, so here’s a title for #21:
      .
      .
      “Readings for Law-and-Order Progressives”

  7. haarmeyer says:

    In the spirit of getting things off chests, the week beginning 1/8/16 and ending 1/15/16 inclusive, saw 145 people killed in terrorist attacks perpetrated by affiliates of exactly 2 organizations: ISIS and al Qaeda (Wikipedia + various news sources).

    If one takes a week like that and extrapolates it to 13 years (i.e. *52*13), it becomes 98,020 deaths. During the 13 years between 2001 and 2014, the number of deaths in the war in Afghanistan was 92,000 (Neta Crawford, Watson Institute, Costs of War).

    Non-international armed conflicts (NIACs) are determined to exist when the non-governmental groups hold territory, have sufficient command structure to implement humanitarian law, and there is a level of violence consistent with war.

    By those standards, since both ISIS and al Qaeda currently hold territory, al Qaeda has long had sufficient command structure and ISIS currently does, if the current level of violence in terrorist attacks (most of which were against explicitly civilian targets and all of which had terror among the civilian population as their primary purpose) is essentially an armed conflict.

    And yet, no news organization of any size saw anything remarkable about the past week.

    Talk about boiling frogs may begin any time.

    • Rayne says:

      Roughly 35,000 dead in Pakistan — a country about 1.25X the area of Texas
      — since 2001. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents_in_Pakistan_since_2001

      Pretty sure this isn’t just al Qaeda at work, but many attacks probably related. Bet Pakistan’s media is all over this if ours isn’t; coverage doesn’t appear to change the existence of terror intra-country.

      Will providing this more coverage in the U.S. do anything except heighten anti-Muslim sentiment, which in turn fuels recruiting for ISIS and AQ? There’s a point at which coverage may not help, merely make the case that these terrorist organizations are successful. Why give them what they want — free PR?

      And why cover terror attacks abroad, when we have our own unresolved problems here? Like +406,000 firearm deaths in the U.S. in that same 13-year time frame you chose. Extrapolate nothing. We’re at war with ourselves in the U.S.; perhaps we should focus on that in the media.

      • orionATL says:

        i think the figure is about 100,000 killed in mexico in the last decade by drug gang terrorists, including candidates for office, sitting mayors, governors and deputies, journalists, members of other gangs, military, students and profs, anti-drug militia, police, american dea, american embassy.

        recently murdered include this sad story of courage:
        .

        http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/17/opinion/sunday/why-cartels-are-killing-mexicos-mayors.html?_r=0

        it is impressive to me that neither the american media nor the american government ever refer to the sinaloa cartel, los zetas, and multiple other drug gangs as terrorists, though they are i suspect one of the greatest if not the greatest source of terrorism in the world.

        • orionATL says:

          oh, i forgot to put government prosecutors on the list of drug terrorist targets – lots of prosecutors.

      • haarmeyer says:

        The point is that the behavior in the past week has all the qualifications to be classified as an armed conflict — a war to use the older term. The number and size of such attacks in the past week was pretty special, and if it’s to be treated as if it were the new normal, then people should deal with the consequence: If it’s normal that means the violence which rises to that level isn’t short termed, then it is legitimate to ask why it isn’t considered to be a war.

        As for what coverage will accomplish? It’s the truth. Do we delete news now because we want the appropriate non-anti-Muslim atmosphere or because it might bring someone undeserved attention? Why cover events abroad when we have problems at home? To learn. Jochen Bittner wrote a piece about the refugees and other immigrants in Germany on Friday, it would have been enlightening for the New York Times to have published it for Americans but they didn’t. It was refreshing because it’s been a while since an article on refugees and migrants used all the terms, refugee, migrant, economic migrant, asylum seeker, etc. as they are properly defined.

        In 2010, there were 42 million people displaced (refugees + IDPs). Now there are 60 million. I think the numbers speak for themselves. I believe in doing something about firearms too. But the UN aid programs for the displaced and food insecure are facing a 15 billion dollar shortfall, and they are rationing food at refugee camps from the Sahel to Jordan. To one meal per day in many of them. The average person in war dies of thirst. Mostly because it happens before starvation. What the hell difference does it make if people are maintaining a low level of anti-Muslim sentiment if the way they’re doing it is to ignore the hunger of millions of Muslims? You think that’s somehow better?

        • Rayne says:

          haarmeyer: What color is the sky on the planet you’ve inhabited for the last +14 years? Bush and his entire administration called it the “Global *War* on Terror,” though they pulled a sleight of hand and funded it with two Authorizations to Use Military Force. It IS a war, an ever-war. WE here have known, written, discussed this fundamental disconnect for +14 years now.

          That sustained low-level anti-Muslim sentiment is EXACTLY what prevents the U.S. from taking its fair share of refugees from a war of its creation, what prevents them from allocating aid funding for other countries like Lebanon taking far more than their share of refugees. It’s what maintains the U.S. position as partner and ally to other countries with more specific aims, inserting ourselves in Shiite versus Shia conflicts, localized inter-Middle Eastern country conflicts, displacing ever more people when not killing them outright.

          WE know that. Pretty sure this site has written enough content to fill an encyclopedia on all the related issues. As for the media: pretty sure we take a stick to them regularly over last +14 years about all manner of coverage related to every aspect of the GWoT. Anybody who has read this site regularly over the decade-plus knows where we stand. There’s a point of diminishing returns on corporate media glorification of war, though. The public’s increasing disinterest is part of it.

          Stop yanking our chain.

          • haarmeyer says:

            By paragraph:
            .
            1) GWB’s global war on terror is not at all what I’m talking about. That was a first ever attempt for a state power to declare war on a non-state actor. This is about the conditions that genuinely give rise to non-international armed conflict. There’s a lot about how that happens at the ICRC site if you’re interested. If you’re not, so be it. But actually having the conditions that require the implementation of international humanitarian law means that international law should apply to these attacks, and they are war crimes. Nobody’s on another planet or pulling somebody’s chain.
            .
            2) Nope. That is not why we’re not taking the share of refugees we ought to for the Syrian conflict which is not a war of our making, although we certainly haven’t done what we could to stop it. Why we’re not taking the share we should, estimated by the International Rescue Committee at 100,000, is in many, many places in the U.S. because of the lack of affordable housing. The other part of it is failure to pass the immigration reform bill, section 5 of which (in the old numbering at least) contained much needed updates of the nation’s refugee and asylum laws. That’s a whole other subject, but I’ll gladly get into it with you if you really want to know about it.
            .
            3) You know all about the media and I would actually know it too if I’d read the site? You didn’t know this one, apparently. Nobody said you had to cover anything at all, or were unaware of it. Orion unloaded about one of his/her issues, so I decided to unload about this one. If it isn’t your cup of tea, you could have ignored me. And by the way, I reiterate what I said in (1). I wasn’t talking about GWoT or glorifying war.

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